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North Bend's new trash contract: Free recycling, more options

Free recycling and more of it were two offerings that made Republic Services (Allied Waste) a contender in North Bend's selection of a new solid waste contractor in March. What made the company the winner was its offer to serve the entire city, buying out the contract Kent-Meridian held to serve the city's recently annexed Maloney Grove, Stilson and Tanner areas.

That promise was something the other two bidders, Waste Management and Cleanscapes "just could not match," then City Administrator Duncan Wilson told the North Bend City Council when they approved the new 10-year contract March 20. At its May 15 meeting, the council also adopted the new fee schedule.

Republic Services will begin trash and yard waste collection services for all areas of North Bend June 1, and all citizens will likely notice the changes. Service rates for residents in the annexed neighborhoods will drop, and recycling options will increase. The company will handle all of the customer billing, and will offer several special recycling events for the community throughout the year. On-site shredding events will be held twice a year for city residents who want to securely dispose of sensitive documents, and the city of North Bend will have city-only shredding events semi-monthly. North Bend will also receive free trash, recycling, and yard waste collection at all city facilities, as part of the contract.

At the individual level, effective June 1, North Bend residents will be able to recycle aluminum foil, paper and plastic cups, and a variety of plastics that used to go into the trash, by tossing them into the recycling carts, provided free by Republic. These include take-out trays, plant pots, lids that are three inches or larger and, when tied into bundles, household plastic wrap and plastic bags. Empty prescription bottles must still be disposed of in the trash.

Items that used to require separate trips to recycle -- used motor oil, or used cooking fats, oil and grease collectively referred to as FOG -- can also be recycled through your regular collection. Dump each used oil into an empty one-gallon plastic container with a tight lid, such as milk jugs. Cooking fats should be combined, but put motor oil in its own container. Republic requires that each jug, up to three each week, is labelled with the customer's name and address, and set out next to recycling carts on collection day.

Shredded paper can now go into your recycling bin, as long as it's bagged. Loose shredded paper can also go into your yard waste bin, if there's no plastic in the mix.

Yard waste containers are also where customers should throw all of their food scraps, including dairy and animal products. Uncoated paper such as egg cartons, and food-soiled paper such as napkins and pizza boxes can also be composted, along with wax-coated paper (but not plastic-coated paper) coffee filters and teabags, and regular yard waste.

For detailed information about which items can go in which carts, see the city's website: http://northbendwa.gov/index.aspx?NID=227, Republic's website: www.rabanco.com/collection/north_bend/default.aspx, or send an e-mail to Cheryl Proffitt-Schmidt, cproffitt@northbendwa.gov. Single-family residential customers can call (425)-392-6651 for more information, and multi-family residential or commercial customers can call 425-646-2492

Recycling and yard waste collection services are included in the base rate charged to single-family residential customers, and businesses can purchase separate food waste recycling services. The base rate for residential customers includes rental of Republic trash, recycling and yard waste carts, all of which are provided by the company. Customers can no longer use their own trash containers, and all city residents are required to sign up for trash collection services. Customers who do not have a yard waste cart can contact the company to select from a 96-, 64- or 32-gallon cart; if they do not specify a size, they will receive the largest cart. Recycling will be picked up weekly, and yard waste, every other week.

Before approving the contract, council members discussed the 7.5 percent franchise fee that the city will receive from Republic, based on the gross receipts of the previous month's service to city residents. This fee is designated for the city's solid waste fund, but several council members felt it was high. Wilson assured them the fee could be adjusted downward, as needed. Republic will also pay the city a one-time $15,000 fee related to the costs of securing this contract.

North Bend began negotiations with Allied/Republic for a contract extension last fall, in hopes that the company would buy out the Kent-Meridian franchise, renewed by a July council vote through 2022, and unite the city under one provider. However, in October, city staff recommended the city open the contract up to the bidding process. The city published a request for proposals in October and began reviewing the proposals in January. Wilson said Republic's submitted proposal at that time was compelling enough that the city suspended the RFP process and began negotiations with the company again, to develop the existing contract.

"What we have before you is an agreement that I think is of great benefit to the citizens of North Bend," Wilson told the council.

Both Wilson and the new City Administrator Londi Lindell, recommended the new rate structure as the final piece of the contract award, at the council's May 15 meeting.

 

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